Academic Tracking: Good or Bad
Academic tracking refers to the process where children are shuffled according to their academic results. The students with similar academic results are grouped together or put in the same class and the rest so on. This is a process that has been followed widely in the recent times. Since 2009 there has been an exponential increase in the number of secondary schools that have started to follow academic tracking.
There are a lot of reasons academic tracking can be useful. Academic tracking is beneficial for teachers at a great level. Teachers find it easier to teach a homogenous group of students. Since the accepting capability of all the students is same teachers can teach in one particular method without modulation to adjust to everyone.
This helps both the intelligent and average students cope up better. This leads to better understanding of the subjects and hence their grades improve. It is also beneficial for the children because it is easier for them to mingle and also communicate better. They are more socially active also. They do not have any inferior or superior complex with their classmates. As they feel everyone is equal to them they do not get any insecurity and there is wholesome development of the student.
All that being said many scholars have found that academic tracking can be more harmful to students that beneficial. They believe that academic tracking leads to a social imbalance. Academic tracking can imbibe a sense of being greater in children of the higher grade sections as compared to students of lower grade sections. This can also lead to students of lower grade sections feeling that they are incapable or not adequate.
Another major drawback to academic tracking is that it leads to bullying. The students of various grade level classrooms tend to bully each other for various reasons. Some bully the others for studying too much or being nerds while others are bullied for being less smart or retarded.
Hence we can say that it is important how the schools skillfully manage academic tracking. It can be extremely beneficial if implemented in the right way and students are managed effectively. Students should also be told about how it is helpful to them so that there are no unwanted responses form them.
Author: Niketha Mohan
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